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Salads and Sausages

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, August 26.

By Andrew McChesney


our-year-old Anna loved to play with her 4-year-old friend, Aleksa, at the kindergarten in a small village in central Latvia.

The two girls especially loved to play a game in which they pretended to be grown-up adults. Anna pretended to be a math teacher, and Aleksa pretended to be a bad student. Aleksa would be late for class. She wouldn’t do her homework. She wouldn’t listen. Anna pretended to be a very strict teacher. She faked being angry, and she tried to punish Aleksa.

“Go stand in the corner for the rest of the day!” Anna told Aleksa.

But Aleksa was very good at pretending to be a bad student. She refused to stand in the corner.

“No, I won’t!” she said.

On some days when the little girls pretended to be grown-up adults, Anna was an artist, and Aleksa was a doctor.

Aleksa knew something about doctors. She had many health problems and was sick a lot. She had many colds and fevers. She coughed and had trouble breathing.

Anna and Aleksa also liked to pretend to cook. They mixed dirt and water into a thick brown stew and seasoned it with a generous sprinkling of flowers. Bright purple, pink, blue, and yellow flowers went into the brown soup.

At first, Anna and Aleksa only played and ate their fake food at the kindergarten. Then, as the two girls grew older, they started going to school together, and Aleksa began coming over to Anna’s house after school got out. They played in the afternoon and ate real food that Anna’s mother put on the table for supper.

Aleksa was surprised when she first saw Anna’s mother place a salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, dill weed, spinach leaves and lettuce on the table. She rarely ate salad at home, and she liked the sweet, juicy, and crunchy flavors and textures.

Aleksa was even more surprised when she saw vegan sausages for the first time. She ate meat sausages at home, and she had never seen sausages made from plants. But she liked the vegan sausages, and she enjoyed eating them with fried potatoes and tomato sauce at Anna’s house.

Aleksa’s mother also liked the food at Anna’s house. Sometimes, she came over and talked with Anna’s mother as Aleksa and Anna played. She was surprised that Anna and her family didn’t eat meat. But, like Aleksa, she liked the food. More important, she saw that Aleksa was less sickly after eating the healthy food.

Aleksa’s mother wanted her girl to be even healthier, and she asked Anna’s mother for tips on how to prepare healthy food. She began to cook healthy food at home. As the meals changed at Aleksa’s home, Aleksa grew more and more healthy. She had fewer and fewer colds and fevers. She stopped coughing. She no longer had trouble breathing. Aleksa’s mother was so glad that her girl wasn’t sick anymore.

One Sabbath, Anna invited Aleksa and her mother and her big brother, Markuss, to church. Aleksa and Markuss enjoyed the Sabbath School and soon were attending church every Sabbath.

Then Aleksa’s mother gave her heart to Jesus and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. After that, her brother, Markuss, her grandmother, and her uncle gave their hearts to Jesus. Now her other grandmother also is preparing to give her heart to Jesus.

Today, Anna and Aleksa still love playing games. They no longer pretend to be grown-up adults, but they play more grown-up games as Pathfinders. They also want to give their hearts to Jesus and be baptized together.

“Aleksa is my best friend,” Anna says.

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help support Pathfinders like Anna and Aleksa in Latvia. The offering will help construct a building in Latvia’s capital, Riga, where Pathfinders and other children can learn more about healthy food and our loving God. Thank you for planning a generous offering.